Mid-Herts Golf Club
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A Brief History

Mid Herts Golf Club was first established in 1892 when permission to play golf on Gustard Wood Common had been granted by the Lords of the Manor, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Less than seven months later the 9 hole course was open for play after the professional from the West Herts Club, Charles Thom, had laid out the links. The greens were made by cutting the natural fescue grasses lower and Horace Rawlins from the Isle of Wight was employed as Groundsman / Professional. The total costs were recorded at less than £17. The Viscount Hampden was the first of many peers to be elected as President of the Club and a clubhouse was constructed in 1897 on the current site at a cost of £107.

The course was enlarged to 18 holes in 1923 under the guidance of James Braid which extended beyond The Slype and Kimpton Road. In 1935 the Club purchased the Manorial Rights and became the owners of Gustard Wood Common, although the public retain the rights of ‘fresh air and exercise’ over the land.

By the early 1960’s golf became more difficult on the north of the Common due to increasing road traffic, with picnickers and clients of the bordering public houses encroaching on to the playing areas. The Club then purchased 21 acres of farmland further south to accommodate three new holes and a practice area.

The tees and greens on the Common were redesigned and came into play in 1968 and apart from some later modifications, the layout then is basically the course we play today. The original wooden clubhouse was replaced by a brick building during the same period, with further extensions in the mid-1970’s.

Since our 100th anniversary in 1992 there has been considerable investment in all aspects of our course and the clubhouse was extensively redeveloped and refurbished in 2000 and was opened by Sir Terry Wogan, who was an honorary member of the club.

Recent Times

In recent times the clubhouse bar and dining area has been completely refurbished together with the ladies locker room. Our electricity comes from our own solar panels and investigations are in hand for our course water to come from a borehole.

On the course, many of the “humps and hollows” that are typical of the James Braid design have been cleared and restored, with further works planned for the next 18 months. Many of the copses have also been cleared allowing the natural grasses and heather to re-grow. Our conservation works have been recently recognised, firstly by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (H&MWT) and secondly by the BBC’s Countryfile team who filmed our course and the measures undertaken by our ground staff - the programme was broadcast on Sunday 10th January 2016.

We have also adopted a 5-year conservation plan drawn up by the H&MWT to further improve our grasslands and encourage back the natural wildlife to our rare acid heathland course.

125 Year Anniversary

In 2017 the club will be 125 years old and commencing on Sunday 23rd July 2017 we are proposing to have a “week of Golf“ to celebrate this milestone. The week will be all-inclusive, encouraging every member to be involved and will culminate with the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Horace Rawlins followed by a President’s Ball.

 

Horace Rawlins

Horace RawlingsThe club's first professional was Horace Rawlins, who went on to win the inaugural US Open Championship in 1895. With this victory, he became the first winner of a "major" outside the United Kingdom.